UN calls for more investment to tackle rising world hunger

22 Sep 17

The United Nations has called for further investments and economic policy changes to tackle global hunger affecting millions around the world.

Countries hit by conflict and civil insecurities are in particular need of economic policy responses, The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2017 report by UN agencies said.

The report, published last week, also said funding for agriculture and food systems was highly necessary as world hunger rises for the first time in over a decade.

There are 38 million more people living in hunger than last year, largely due to the rise of violent conflicts and climate shocks which are closely related to the failure to reduce world hunger, the report said.

Much official development assistance to the countries affected by conflict was provided through humanitarian assistance and focused largely on short-term responses, it added.

“Over the past decade, conflicts have risen dramatically in number and become more complex and intractable in nature,” said the report, produced jointly by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the World Food Programme (WFP) and the World Health Organization (WHO).

“This has set off alarm bells we cannot afford to ignore: we will not end hunger and all forms of malnutrition by 2030 unless we address all the factors in other conflict-affected places, namely northeast Nigeria, Somalia and Yemen,” the heads of the UN organisations noted in the foreword.

The report was the first global assessment on food security and nutrition following the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which aims to combat hunger and malnutrition.

There are 815 million people living in hunger, 11% of the world’s population, including 489 million living in conflict hit areas. Of the world’s hungry people, 520 million live in Asia, 243 million in Africa and 42 million in Latin America and the Caribbean.

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